The CDC has ordered that all travelers flying to the U.S. from abroad will have to show proof of negative Covid-19 tests before boarding a flight.
According to the Wall Street Journal here is what you need to know about the new protocols before you take a travel starting Jan. 26.
- The order applies to everyone traveling to the U.S. on international flights, including U.S. citizens. You will need to show negative test results even if you are flying on a private jet or charter flight. (There are exceptions for children under age 2, airline crews, and federal law-enforcement agents and members of the military traveling for duty.)
- All countries. Passengers need to show proof of a negative test when traveling to the U.S. from any country, including Mexico and the Caribbean. The requirement doesn’t apply to U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico.
- U.S.-bound air travelers must get tested no more than three days before flying and bring written or electronic proof of the results. Airlines can accept both PCR and rapid antigen tests.
- If you don’t have the documentation with you, airlines won’t allow you to board, according to the CDC’s new order.
- A United spokesperson said that customers coming from the U.K. on United Airlines show test results in the lobby before security, but the details might not be the same for other countries.
- To streamline the verification process, American Airlines Group Inc. AAL -2.10% is expanding access to a health passport app where travelers can upload documents such as negative Covid-19 test results. Starting tomorrow Jan. 23, the VeriFly app will be available for American customers traveling from all international destinations.
- Even if you have been vaccinated for Covid-19, you still will need to show proof of a negative test.
- If you have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past three months but no longer have symptoms, the CDC doesn’t recommend getting tested again. If you are in this group and have met the criteria to end isolation, the CDC says you can travel as long as you have written permission from a health-care provider or public-health official. Bring your positive test result and the doctor’s letter to show the airline in lieu of a negative test result.
- Airlines already have done away with most international change fees and are adding more flexibility for people who need to adjust their plans and get to the U.S. before the new testing requirements go into effect.
- American and Delta Air Lines Inc., DAL -2.28% for instance, will allow people to rebook international tickets to the U.S. that had been scheduled through Feb. 9, as long as new travel starts on or before Jan. 25. That means you can rebook to fly before testing is required without paying higher last-minute fares. United is waiving fare differences for travel originally scheduled through Feb. 15.
- The CDC recommends people get a second test three to five days after travel and stay home for seven days (or 10 days without a second test). Testing on its own isn’t a substitute for social distancing and wearing face masks, CDC officials said.
President Biden has signed an executive order requiring international travelers to self-quarantine upon returning to the US.
More details are available here on the White House website.